Q: My child has been having nose bleed episodes lately, is this due to the weather? What can I do to stop it?
Answered by: Dr. Khairul Zaman Bin Omar, Paediatrics & Haemato Oncology, Gleneagles Hospital Kuala Lumpur (GKL)
Nosebleed is a common issue in children. It can be dramatic but not usually serious. Nosebleed can originate from the anterior nose, meaning that the bleeding occurs in the front, soft part of the nose. Posterior nosebleeds develop in the rear of the nose and rarely occur in children.
Anterior nose contains many small blood vessels or capillaries that can easily rupture and bleed due to a variety of causes. Posterior nosebleeds tend to be heavier and fortunately rarely occur in children.
Common Causes of Nosebleed in Children
- Small blood vessels anterior nose can be injured or ruptured easily by these causes:
- Dry air
- Picking the nose
- Nasal allergies
- Trauma to the nose or face
- Sinusitis, common colds and other infections that affect the nasal passages
And Less Common Causes of nosebleeds in children include:
- Bleeding or blood clotting, such as haemophilia
- Certain medications, including blood thinners (Warfarin, aspirin) or prolong unnecessary use of intranasal spray (steroid containing)
- Malignancy like leukaemia
- Nasal polyps (benign intranasal growth)
How to treat your child’s nosebleeds
Parents are advised to follow these steps to stop a nosebleed: (don’t get panicky)
- Keep your child upright and gently tilt their head forward slightly. Leaning the head back could cause blood to trickle down the throat and it can make your child cough, gag, or even vomit.
- Then pinch the soft part of the nose while telling your child to breathe through their mouth while you (or the child) do this.
- You can also apply ice around the nose bridge, which will reduce blood flow
(thus, reduce bleeding).
- Try to maintain either manoeuvre for about 10 minutes. Stopping too early can make your child’s nose begin bleeding again.
- For frequent nosebleeds, moisturizing the lining of the nose may help reduce recurrence.